The Cincinnati Bengals have officially signed quarterback Jason Campbell to a one-year contract. The team reached an agreement with Campbell Wednesday night, and they ended up picking him over former Bengals backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans this offseason.
Campbell went to Chicago as an unrestricted free agent for 2012 and to Cleveland as a UFA for 2013. He started eight of Cleveland’s last nine games last season, missing one due to a concussion, passing 180-of-317 (56.8 percent) for 2015 yards, with 11 TDs and eight INTs. He has 16,697 career passing yards, with 87 TDs against just 60 INTs. His career passer rating is 81.8. He was released by Cleveland on March 12.
"Jason obviously has extensive playing and starting history," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, "and as a back-up (to Bengals starter Andy Dalton), he can provide the stability and experience we’re looking for in that role. His experience will be a great asset to our other quarterbacks.
"He can play and win games for you if you need him. He’s got great stature (6-5, 230) and strength, the ability to stand in there under pressure and really throw the ball down the field."
The former first-round pick of the Washington Redksin took over Cleveland’s starting QB position in Game 8 of last season and posted 100-plus passer ratings in his first two starts, at Kansas City and vs. Baltimore. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his Nov. 3 performance against Baltimore, leading a 24-18 win with 23 completions in 35 attempts for 262 yards, three TDs and no INTs (rating of 116.6).
Campbell will be the best backup QB the Bengals have had since Andy Dalton became the full-time starter as a rookie. Now, he'll have a veteran behind him with plenty of starting experience who can help him take the next step in his development, and hopefully help Cincinnati make a deep playoff-run in 2014.